In collaboration with the Times Square Alliance Public Art Program, UrbanRemix hosted a series of workshops and performances in Times Square. Throughout April and May 2011, the public was invited to capture and contribute sounds from Times Square using the free UrbanRemix apps for iPhone/iOS and Android. Then, using the UrbanRemix web site, anyone-anywhere could explore the contributed sounds online, view them on a virtual map of Times Square, and mix and share their own soundscapes.
On April 15 and 16, we conducted workshops using the UrbanRemix platform, working together with youth and adults to explore the creative possibilities of computational media around the theme of sound and the city. On Friday April 15th we worked with teachers and students from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School in New York. On Saturday April 16th we hosted a public workshop in conjunction with artists and educators from the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.
On May 12, New York-based electronic musicians Travis Thatcher and Damon Holzborn performed live remixes of the collected sounds in two performances in Times Square. More on their performances at http://vimeo.com/25194160.
We also held a contest for best remix and best recording in Times Square and announced the results on May 12:
Whistling In Train To Square by Helkiro
Umbrellas with Sales Pitch by sharonmizrahi
Get They Phone Call by DJ Deleuze
Lobby Receptionist Whistling by sharonmizrahi
Sound Recording by daysounds
Squeaky Shoes by mspinei
l12 by ID
UrbanRemix is a collaborative and locative sound project. Our goal in developing UrbanRemix was to design a platform and series of public workshops that would enable participants to develop and express the acoustic identity of their communities, and enable users of the website to explore and experience the soundscapes of the city in a novel fashion.
The UrbanRemix platform consists of a mobile phone system and web interface for recording, browsing, and mixing audio. It allows users to document and explore the obvious, neglected, private or public, even secret sounds of the urban environment. Participants in the UrbanRemix workshops become active creators of shared soundscapes as they search the city for interesting sound cues. The collected sounds, voices, and noises provide the original tracks for musical remixes that reflect the specific nature and acoustic identity of the community.
The project draws upon long-standing aesthetic practices that bring real-world sounds into electronic works, such as musique concréte, acoustic ecology, and the chance approaches of John Cage, as well as practices in public art and relational aesthetics that structure new forms of engagement and collaboration between artists, designers and citizens. Its innovative contribution is in the combination of these aesthetic approaches with current technological trends in location-aware mobile applications and in digital performance and interactive art.
The project was conceived of and is directed by Jason Freeman, Michael Nitsche, and Carl Disalvo, who are professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, Georgia. It is made possible by the invaluable work of numerous students and designers, and supported in part by the Music Technology program, the Digital Media program, and the GVU center at Georgia Tech.
From 2009-2013, the UrbanRemix project mounted events in collaboration with the Atlanta Beltline "Art on the Beltline" project, the City Centered festival and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, the Atlanta Public Schools and Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, and the Times Square Arts Alliance in New York, among others. The UrbanRemix platform was retired in 2014.
Project web site: http://urbanremix.gatech.edu
Explanatory video: http://vimeo.com/18934954
Jason Freeman: http://www.jasonfreeman.net
Michael Nitsche: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~cdisalvo3/
Carl DiSalvo: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~nitsche/
Akito Van Troyer
GVU Center at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Foundation
UrbanRemix sounds and images are licensed under a Creative Commons Sampling Plus license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/sampling+/1.0/). Please reference the Urban Remix web site (http://urbanremix.gatech.edu) in any works which incorporate content from this site.